Alan Sillitoe in 2008. Cover image for Sillitoe Trail, TheSpace. Source; LeftLion, Dom Henry
A literary journey based on Alan Sillitoe’s 1958 novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
About the Sillitoe Trail and The Space arts platform
Nottingham-born, Alan Sillitoe (1928-2010) is best known for his first two books; Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958) and Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner (1959).
The Sillitoe Trail is a digital re-imagining of Alan Sillitoe’s first novel; Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and the film version by Karel Reisz (1960) which stand as beacons for debating contemporary British values and identity.
The work focusses on five locations from the novel – The Old Market Square, the White Horse pub, the Raleigh Cycle Factory, the River Trent, and the Goose Fair. Each location explores a particular theme and features Arthur Seaton, Sillitoe’s defiant anti-hero at the centre of the narrative.
All the rest is propaganda…
Sillitoe Trail was launched by James Walker and Paul Fillingham in 2012 for TheSpace – an experimental on-demand digital arts platform commissioned by Arts Council England and the BBC. The commission was supported by the Alan Sillitoe Memorial Committee and includes creative interpretations of Sillitoe’s masterpiece from Nottinghamshire artists, students, writers, musicians and film-makers.
Written and produced by Walker in collaboration with Fillingham’s digital startup Thinkamigo – the duo worked with BBC producers to develop editorial workflow for publishing content on the web and digital TV.
At the time of it’s launch in 2012, TheSpace featured fifty arts organisations, including; The Shakespeare Globe, Tate Gallery, and the John Peel Record Collection.
Sillitoe Trail was hailed as an ‘exemplar of creative engagement’ by Arts Council England Chair Sir Peter Bazalgette. The project made a huge impact in Nottinghamshire, extending into public events in; Sheffield (DocFest) Newcastle (City Library), The British Library, and a showcase at Google HQ, London.
In addition to episodic presentation on BBC platforms between 2012 and 2013, the project culminated in the release of a 1950s inspired ‘Factory Handbook’, a mobile trail app for Apple iPhone and a two day festival of readings, screenings and music at Nottingham Contemporary.
The Sillitoe Trail formed an important case study, in support of Nottingham’s bid as a UNESCO City of Literature in 2015. The project was covered by NottsTV, Radio Nottingham and BBC East Midlands news, and was also the subject of a BBC TV Inside Out documentary, and was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live programme, hosted by John McCarthy.
The Sillitoe Trail
Take your own interactive tour of the author’s city and follow in Arthur Seaton’s footsteps around Nottingham, exploring the real locations of key scenes from the novel. You can go back to the Old Market Square or visit The White Horse pub, the Raleigh factory, the River Trent and Goose Fair. For updated content, visit Sillitoe Trail Xtra
Follow: Arthur Seaton @Thespacelathe on Twitter
Download: Sillitoe Trail Factory Handbook (17MB PDF)
Fillingham and Walker 2012 - 2023